One of my childhood favourites when we visited London was to take a tour of the Natural History Museum – those visits lasted well into my teens and when at University we would have conferences in London that we attended and as they finished a quick trip to the museum was always the order of the day. Introducing the kids to some of the things that I enjoyed as a child has been one of my goals this year – like with our cotton reel car that I used to make as a child and now with visits to some of the museums and sights around the UK.
Gone are the days when museums were filled with cases upon cases of stuffed animals and artefacts now it’s a hands on, interactive, media rich environment perfect for today’s kids and adults. The Natural History Museum has evolved and it’s one location that we will be returning to time and time again.
What’s to see at the Natural History Museum
There’s too much to see in a day – we visited 3 area in the “Green Zone” and 1 in the “Red Zone” and that was more than enough for my kids, we’re already planning our return trip and can’t wait to explore some of the other areas that I just know the kids will love.
With Free entry although a donation is a great idea as the Museum is a charity and it does support work around the world you have a choice of two entrances to the museum that both will awe your kids as you arrive. The main entrance accessible by steps and ramp you are greeted by a HUGE dinosaur taking up the centre of the great hall, it’s the dinosaur that those of you that love old Disney Movies will remember as been stolen in the classic One of our Dinosaur’s is missing.
The other entrance you see first an almost metallic looking stegosaurus in front of an escalator leading up into the centre of the Earth. Sophie the Stegosaurus is one of the most complete dinosaur fossils ever found and the journey into the Earth even from my childhood is one that I know I – and neither will the kids ever forget.
For kids our age – 4 and 5 there were 4 areas that were really worth visiting – The Dinosaur Exhibits – Creepy Crawley – Human Body and Earthquakes and Volcanoes.
Throughout the exhibits that we visited there are hands on experiences for the children from – touching real life dinosaur fossils
to seeing how water changes the weight of different objects
Creating your own volcanoes
Causing and experiencing earth quakes and many many more.
What you need to know about the Natural History Museum London
Natural History Museum is FREE to enter – once in some exhibits may charge but the majority of the areas are free. There is a sign that ask for a donation of £5 which I was very happy to give as they are a charity and this supports the work that they do around the world.
The nearest tube station is South Kensington – exiting the tube there is an underground walk way that will take you to many of the museums in the area with the Natural History Museum being the 2nd exit.
Inside the museum there is a cafe, a restaurant but the secret to a cheap day is that in the basement there is a picnic room with coffee bar and toilets. If you take your own picnic then you can go down to the basement past the hands on learning centre and enjoy eating in comfort on large colourful tables – around the room are vending machines and as I mentioned the coffee bar selling hot drinks.
It is worth getting the kids guide – a hardback book which gives information about the different sections, a map plus activities for the kids to do – priced at £5 they can be found being sold outside and inside the museum.
What’s your favourite museum?
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